In critical need of wins, can O's take down red-hot Red Sox?

It now seems like a long time ago that the Orioles won six straight series against the Boston Red Sox. It wasn't that long ago, but now they have lost their past two series, losing two of three in late July in Baltimore and a month later in Boston.

The Red Sox, who went 69-93 a year ago, are red-hot and their magic number to clinch the American League East is four.

Boston just swept the Yankees, outscoring them 22-7 in a three-game series. The Red Sox have won five of their last six, 10 of 12 and 17 of their last 21 games. At Fenway Park, they are 8-1 in the last nine games.

They have won eight series in a row since they lost a series to the Yankees from Aug. 16-18.

So I guess I'm saying there's a chance.

Sure, the Orioles have a chance to beat Boston, but it is going to take a lot. Frankly, better play than we have seen from the team in their last six series when they lost four and won just two.

Remember when the Orioles didn't whip up on bad teams? Since late August, they have lost series against Boston, New York (twice) and Cleveland, going 4-9 ,while winning series against Chicago and Toronto, going 5-2.

They have recently beaten the bad teams but now have to beat the one with the best record in the majors.

The Red Sox do have losing records against four teams on the year and the Orioles are one of them. Boston has gone 3-4 vs. Detroit, 2-5 against Kansas City, 2-4 vs. Texas and 6-7 against the Orioles.

But the Red Sox train is really rolling now. Boston has scored a major league-best 791 runs for the year and, in going 11-3 in September, the Sox have scored 100 runs for an average of 7.1 per game.

This will be a challenge for O's pitchers, but the hitters need to get it going, too. The O's scored just 13 runs in a four-game series against Chicago, 18 runs over four games versus the Yankees and 11 runs over the weekend in three games at Toronto.

We don't know if Cleveland will stumble against some losing teams down the stretch, whether the O's will beat Tampa Bay when they play or if Texas will continue to fade.

But we do know the Orioles are running out of time to get the job done. The time to get on a roll is now.

But can they get the job done beginning tonight against against baseball's hottest team on the road?

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